Despite releasing an album back in 2009, Those Darlins are still a band that has been flying under the radar. However, I don’t see them staying in that predicament for long after this work catches fire.
If the album art wasn’t enough of a clue, the instant you press play on this album, it’s clear that this is a playful, blunt, edgy and full out rock and roll fest. “Screws Get Loose,” the title and opening track is probably the best song that you’ll come across when things are all said and done. While normally it’s not necessarily a good sign for the best song to come first, it doesn’t hurt Those Darlins because all of the songs are decent. Its appeal begins with the jangle of the opening procession and continues to the classic garage punk sound. The grit of the feminine lead vocals is perfect in that it doesn’t fall into the sugary category that everyone else seems to be going for these days.
These punk vocals are also vital in convincing listeners that all the female narrator wants to do is “Be Your Bro” on the second number from Those Darlins. On this track, this band establishes themselves as people who could very well be your friends. Their songwriting (not just on this song) is simple and relatable; since it’s easy to discern what the band is discussing it quickly becomes like an inside joke between you and them. However, their lyrics aren’t oversimplified, they still manage to cover a wide variety of topics, from only wanting to be friends with a desiring male, “Be Your Bro,” to discussing and giving a testament about the evils of money, “$.”
The same can be said for the sound of the group; it goes a variety of places while still staying under the giant umbrella of garage, be it the pop, rock or punk variety. On “Let U Down,” there is a poppy vibe in the beginning that carries through the 70’s guitar riffs spliced though the tune. Later on comes “Tina Said,” whose guttural guitars and bobbing bass lines twist it to a darker, yet still jamming beat. “Fatty Needs a Fix” is a start to finish punk race that is molded by its quick-witted words and precision drumming, but don’t forget to stick around for Dutchess & the Duke—esque “Waste Away.” Such diversity will allow Those Darlins to bridge the gap between forgettable and kick ass.
At the end of Screws Get Loose, there is a bit of silence and then a guitar solo layered upon the melody of the first song, prompting you to go back to the beginning and start again. As the band intended, I suggest you do the same; this will surely be an album that you will play over and over.
Download: Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose [MP3]